Work begins

Well, it’s finally started!

I had a small problem just after taking the car off the road, in that I was told I can’t use the garage it was in to do any work! That was a bit of a blow. 🙁
But I have now rented a garage nearby, and moved into it last week. It’s a bit of a pain because it’s just a single garage, so everything is going to be a bit of a squeeze. But at least I have a roof now, so no more ‘rain stopped play’!
Anyway, the work: I’ve put the car in the garage, jacked up the rear end and started stripping:


The first job, once I’d pulled all the old oil cans, rags, broken parts and so on out of the boot(!), was to pull up the carpet and have a good look round the rear end for the dreaded tin worm. On first inspection, it wasn’t a pretty picture:


Boot floor and wheel well – it’s not really rusty, apart from one small hole – randomly, it’s right in the middle of the panel, with no other rust nearby. I don’t know how it came to be there.


The gap between the boot area and the inside of the rear wing – not pretty. You can see daylight from the bottom! The other side is in a similar state.



The same area, from the outside.



And again, on the other side. In this pic, you can also see a lovely little bodge on the exhaust mounting – not my work, I hasten to add!

Apart from that, I found the top of the O/S wheelarch was going a bit crumbly – worryingly, right around the seatbelt mounting – If I’d ever been unfortunate enough to have an accident, I reckon the seatbelt would have just ripped right out of its mounting.
Altogether though, it’s not as bad as I was expecting – indeed, for a 31 year old car, it’s incredibly solid – helped no doubt by the fact that the underside had been undersealed at some point in the past (I’ve also found some evidence that the car may have been waxoyled at some point).
This should be nothing more than a few small patch panels here and there, nothing too complex. But of course, I need to learn how to weld first!

After the inspection, I got down and dirty, crawling under the car to start pulling the axle off. I did this once before, about 18 months ago, so no rusted bolts this time around – nice and easy!
Two hours later, this is where I left it:


Tomorrow, I’ll be back to pull everything else out – the trailing arms, handbrake cable, fuel tank, fuel and brake lines, and the dampers. Then it’ll be ready to get started scraping all the rust and old underseal off – not a job I’m particularly looking forward to!

As for the engine, I’m finally getting to the end of all the cleaning. I’ve just got to finish off the block, I’ve got 5 pistons left to clean up, then the sump, and it’s done and ready for reassembly. I’ve also got hold of a new inlet manifold/carb setup (my third so far!) and distributor, so my list of ancillaries to replace is now fairly small – just the alternator to go, as well as all the usual odds and ends.

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